Our voices should be heard
OUR trades council delegates like to keep up with current affairs given we don't carry out trade union duties in a vacuum. However what we find is that while most ordinary people hold the top bankers in contempt, Britain's mass media still looks upon the City in awe.
The broadcast media, in particular, seem incapable of carrying a major news story without telling us "what the markets think". A continuous stream of City pundits, fund managers and market traders, or more accurately, a stream of gamblers, speculators and spivs appear on television and radio to pontificate as if, for all the world, they are useful, wise and disinterested members of society. They are rarely questioned about their own or the City's culpability.
Millions of viewers and listeners without a share to their name are brought, frequently and breathlessly, the latest prices on the stock exchange. When soaring profit figures are announced for some bank, oil company, energy utility or supermarket chain, the newscaster invariably does so with unhidden joy - as though we all share the profits without paying the escalating prices.
The BBC is one of the worst culprits when it comes to City-worship. It is an incessant flow of "what the markets are thinking," the latest Dow Jones index, how a company's quarterly profit returns are "encouraging" and good or bad news for "investors." It is rare to hear any left wing politician or trade unionist on its programmes, especially political forums such as Question Time.
What we get is a media reinforcing a right-wing, anti-trade union, pro-big business message pumped out daily.
Yet in the real world there are still plenty of socialists and trade unionists with a clear idea about what to do with the City of London and corrupt capitalism where parasites make millions while our public services are starved of resources.
Well we are fighting back and the mass strikes against the attack on workers' pensions on the 30 November is but a first step. It doesn't have to be like this, wage and benefit cuts, mass unemployment, shortage of housing etc - for us. This in the fourth richest country in the world. The organised working class movement does have an economic and political alternative to the capitalist casino economy and we need to demand our voice is heard.
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